Plan and protect to avoid DIY disasters

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PRECAUTIONS: Gloves, goggles or dust masks should be used to prevent DIY injuries Photo Credit: Shutterstock

ACCIDENTS at this time of year are not uncommon. Time and weather make doing jobs around the house more appealing and practical.

But as with most things worth doing, preparation and attention to detail is key.

Many DIYers lack the training and experience to safely use all the equipment required to undertake home improvements.

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Ladder accidents, misused power tools and dangerous working conditions can all result in serious injury.

But there are steps you can take to be aware of potential hazards and reduce the risk of injury to yourself and others.

Splinters and pieces of debris can find their way into the skin, particularly into any open cuts or wounds. This can result in bacteria developing, which could cause an infection.

Inhaling dust can be detrimental to general health, particularly with regard to the lungs. Goggles, gloves and dust masks should always be worn for protection.

According to UK accidents at home statistics, 4,000 people visit hospitals every year as the direct result of a fall that has been caused by a paint pot or spillage. It therefore makes sense to plan the positioning of all the equipment being used, so that it does not become an obstruction. And spills should be cleared up immediately to prevent people from slipping and falling.

Knives and other sharp implements apparently cause 20,000 accidents every year, the result of poor handling of knives and tools such as scalpels, as well as failing to plan carefully or wearing gloves.

Figures show 70 people lose their lives every year because of DIY accidents. People are fatally hurt because of inexperience, poor planning, failing to use the correct tools, and a lack of personal protective equipment.

The majority of deaths caused by DIY accidents are directly linked to the use of a ladder. It is reported 50 people are fatally injured every year in the UK because they have used a ladder that is in poor condition, used incorrectly or positioned badly.

Around 3,500 people are hurt every year as the result of using a screwdriver. Even the most seemingly innocuous DIY tools can be dangerous if they are in the wrong hands.

A staggering 21,000 accidents are caused every year by people attempting to manoeuvre paving or concrete blocks. Enlist help where possible, and/or use equipment to move items awkward or heavy items.

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